On the first volunteer Tuesday at Laurelwood Arboretum, a hardy group set to work clearing non-native plants from the area in front of the new Knippenberg Center for Education. Plants that can be saved will be moved to other locations in the arboretum, and the area will be replanted with those that are native to northern New Jersey.
Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum (FOLA) is creating a 6,000-square-foot Native Plant Demonstration Garden that will serve as landscaping for the Knippenberg Center and will also provide opportunities for educational programs. Interpretive signs will direct visitors around the garden, describing the plants, their value to the environment, and their role in home landscapes. FOLA’s Education Committee will work with Executive Director Elaine Fogerty to develop a variety of programs for children and adults that explain the role of native plants in the environment.
“Homeowners are becoming increasingly aware of the critical role of native plants in the environment and want to learn which are suitable for their own landscapes,” said FOLA’s President Alice Moskowitz. “The Demonstration Garden will showcase the best native plants for home landscapes in our region.”
Kathleen Salisbury, President of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey, developed the original concept design and plant list for the garden. Elaine Fogerty is finalizing the design and plant selection and implementing the project. Master Gardeners and FOLA volunteers will assist with planting and maintenance of the garden. The project is funded by grants from the California-based Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust and the Ira A. Roschelle, MD Family Foundation.